Oolong Vendor Topic

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debunix
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Sat Dec 29, 2018 9:07 pm

I've enjoyed all of his Alishan teas--light roast winter, spring, and summer versions as well as the Red Alishan...in fact, I once did a tasting with several of them.

He's had a very good traditional roast TGY that I've bought several times, and I think this is currently on his site. I've enjoyed all of his Wuyi oolongs--DHP, Shui Xian, Tie Luo Han, Rou Gui. And at times he has had marvelous light roast ultra green TGY and related teas that have been spectacularly good, but those have mostly dropped from his offerings for a long time now.

I don't see any greens on his site at all right now; I've had interesting greens and whites, and very singular/intermediately processed teas from various regions of China, Taiwan, and Japan. And I've been very sparingly drinking a Lao Mansa beeng I bought in 2010 that has been aging very very nicely.

Basically, I feel like I know his palate well enough to predict if I'll like a tea based on his description. I order from a lot of other vendors as well now, because I've come to crave some of the teas he never offered or no longer offers, and when I order from him I tend to buy fewer different teas but more of each one because they're reliably very good.
oolongfan
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Tue Jan 15, 2019 3:59 pm

debunix - Thanks for the link to your tasting of Norbu's Alishan....very interesting reading. Makes me wish that I had started my oolong tea drinking much earlier, especially so many teas are no longer available ;)

Sorry to respond so late...I caught a nasty bug around the same time the snow arrived...so only now catching up.

Thanks for the recommendation of the traditional roast TGY...I have yet to order it, but will put it on the next order.

The 2018 Winter Alishan High Grown Dong Pian is not quite green...but lightly roasted and oxidized....so it might quench your green oolong craving. Greg has a close relationship with the farmer/roaster...and helped out with the harvest...so this is a special tea in many senses. I love it...nice orchid, jasmine, light vegetal flavor but richer due to very sublte roasting..without tasting roasted..if that makes sense ;)

I totaly get what you mean..in that I too, feel that i know Greg's palate to know if I will like a tea based on the description alone. I have yet to meet a tea from Norbu that I did not like....most are great

Thanks again for the link to your page...I really enjoyed your detailed notes...might have to look around some more :)
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debunix
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Tue Jan 15, 2019 7:47 pm

Glad those pages are still useful to someone!
oolongfan
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Tue Jan 15, 2019 8:24 pm

debunix - Your tasting notes are very usefull to me :) I especially enjoyed reading the effect of your various teapots on water alone. An interesting experiment that I might try some time.
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Dresden
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Wed May 15, 2019 7:22 pm

I'd be very interested in hearing what everyone's favorite vendor for quality Bai Hao from either Hsinschu or Miaoli County would be. It is by far one of my favorites.
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Victoria
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Wed May 15, 2019 7:43 pm

Dresden wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 7:22 pm
I'd be very interested in hearing what everyone's favorite vendor for quality Bai Hao from either Hsinschu or Miaoli County would be. It is by far one of my favorites.
I have had very good Bai Hao (Oriental Beauty) from Te Company in NYC (Oriental Beauty Grand) and a few years ago (2016 Bai Hao) from Floating Leaves in Seattle. Both were very rich with Te Company’s being exceptional and still available. It sells out.
Ethan Kurland
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Wed May 15, 2019 8:28 pm

Victoria wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 7:43 pm
Dresden wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 7:22 pm
I'd be very interested in hearing what everyone's favorite vendor for quality Bai Hao from either Hsinschu or Miaoli County would be. It is by far one of my favorites.
I have had very good Bai Hao (Oriental Beauty) from Te Company in NYC (Oriental Beauty Grand) and a few years ago (2016 Bai Hao) from Floating Leaves in Seattle. Both were very rich with Te Company’s being exceptional and still available. It sells out.
. Yes, Victoria, I forgot 2016 had especially good O.B. I did not realize that it has been a while since I had some O.B. that was like some I got back then. Dresden, you might check sites of respected members of the forum here, choffman & tillerman. They might have some.

I've come to respect how difficult it is to judge tea. I did not understand how people could rave about O.B. that was somewhat subtle or subdued. (Now it is the O.B. that I drink and sell.) At different times in our lives, particular qualities effect us to various degrees. (A touch of minerals in gaoshan used to ruin my enjoyment of excellent tea, now I regret that it seems difficult to find that component. I'd love a touch of minerals and would not mind a heavier amount.)

Dresden, welcome to TeaForum. I am not shy about touting my own teas, but even I would not based solely on where they are grown. You might describe what you want in terms of flavor etc. Welcome to TeaForum.
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Victoria
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Wed May 15, 2019 8:41 pm

@Ethan Kurland I wasn’t aware that you now also have Oriental Beauty, if it’s anything like your Competition Black or Himalayan Orange it must be very good.

I just read a post by KyaraZen on FB that as a result of a warm winter HY Chen’s Spring yield is less than half of last year’s. This of course is placing a financial strain on him, so prices will be adjusted to reflect this reduced yield. If you love Taiwan oolong, now is a good year to support farmers and producers so they can carry on with their traditional practices.
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Bok
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Wed May 15, 2019 10:00 pm

Victoria wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 8:41 pm
I just read a post by KyaraZen on FB that as a result of a warm winter HY Chen’s Spring yield is less than half of last year’s. This of course is placing a financial strain on him, so prices will be adjusted to reflect this reduced yield. If you love Taiwan oolong, now is a good year to support farmers and producers so they can carry on with their traditional practices.
Seems like that has been the case in general... heard and read it from a few other sources as well.

Add to that, that the plum arrived in parts at a time where the leaves should have been harvested at their best and the yield is even lower. Or less quality... some farmer harvested anyways, which leaves a lot larger margin for errors as processing wet leaves is not ideal :?
Ethan Kurland
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Thu May 16, 2019 9:16 am

Victoria wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 8:41 pm
Ethan Kurland I wasn’t aware that you now also have Oriental Beauty, if it’s anything like your Competition Black or Himalayan Orange it must be very good.
....
I added the O.B. (Thng Fang Mei Jea) in Tea Vendors post of April 30. Also let people know that all of the tea from Taiwan was latest Winter. Part of O.B.'s description is: ….".compelling as light fruitiness & spiciness seem familiar yet uniquely refined. Fun to vary parameters".

I did not note that this O.B. takes less leaves than usual to brew a good cup. (I am getting a bit less obsessed with economy, but not today, ha ha.)

Thanks Victoria & Bok for info on Taiwan's Spring harvest letting us know that if prices go up, it is because of conditions, not greed.

Though I have not ordered from him for a couple of years or so, I am contacted from a man in Nepal whenever he has a tea that he believes will please me in specific, hard-to-find ways. In short, in late June, I will add an organic white tea from Nepal that is wonderfully & powerfully aromatic.
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Victoria
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Thu May 16, 2019 1:15 pm

Reposting, with KyaraZen’s go ahead, a moving update on Hau Ying Chen’s farming practices, tea processing, and low 2019 Spring yield. Hard work, sweat and tears ...very moving;

KyaraZen, FB, May 15, 2019

Do you know that... the tea from the hundred year old garden of Xinchengfang @huayin_chen is free of 473 pesticides? 😝 Traditionally made, carefully processed, authentic charcoal roasted, great taste and maximal food safety, what more can i ask? 😝 amidst all these greatness, few actually know the real challenges and struggles of a farmer trying to fulfil these standards. Despite all the passion and love, and an innocent outlook to the tea market, the overall process to reach such standards is costly and labour intensive, good care of the tea bushes, manual grass clearing, handpicking of leaves, not over harvesting by sacrificing yield for sake of higher quality, use of soybean shells and clean organic fertilizers from japan/taiwan etc. This year will be a “trying” year for Xin Cheng Fang as the spring tea yield was only less than half the yield of yesteryears due to the warm winter. This might put unnecessary financial strain on the farmer. So if there might be any cost/price adjustments in spring tea this year, u know the reason why 😝 if you have not restocked or are looking for clean top quality teas do try check out @huayin_chen there is a very special handmade “岩韵乌龙” this year.
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Dresden
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Thu May 16, 2019 5:50 pm

Ethan Kurland wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 8:28 pm
Yes, Victoria, I forgot 2016 had especially good O.B. I did not realize that it has been a while since I had some O.B. that was like some I got back then. Dresden, you might check sites of respected members of the forum here, choffman & tillerman. They might have some.
Ethan,
Thank you for the information. After looking at Tillerman's website I see that he has put up some OB from 2016 that he had intentionally stored away to age a couple of years. I just ordered some :D . I will definitely check out your page when placing my next tea order!
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Victoria
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Fri May 17, 2019 12:00 pm

Dresden wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 5:50 pm
.....After looking at Tillerman's website I see that he has put up some OB from 2016 that he had intentionally stored away to age a couple of years. I just ordered some :D ....
I am impressed how fairly @Tillerman sets his prices for high quality Taiwan oolong, kudos to him. Thank you.
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Balthazar
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Sat May 18, 2019 1:45 am

Victoria wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 1:15 pm
Reposting, with KyaraZen’s go ahead, a moving update on Hau Ying Chen’s farming practices, tea processing, and low 2019 Spring yield. Hard work, sweat and tears ...very moving;
Thanks for sharing. Where does KyaraZen post these days, other than on his blog?

I still haven't gotten around to try any of my 2018 teas from Chen, on my last bag from 2017. Was thinking of picking up quite a bit from spring 2019 once they are available, sad to hear it's been a bad season with a very low yield.
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Victoria
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Sat May 18, 2019 2:25 am

Balthazar wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 1:45 am
Thanks for sharing. Where does KyaraZen post these days, other than on his blog?

I still haven't gotten around to try any of my 2018 teas from Chen, on my last bag from 2017. Was thinking of picking up quite a bit from spring 2019 once they are available, sad to hear it's been a bad season with a very low yield.
KyaraZen posts on Instagram as Aloeswoods and Facebook as KyaraZen.

I highly recommend you get plenty of winter 2018, across the board a very good season. I’m starting to think that because it was a warm winter in Taiwan tea trees didn’t have a change to rest with cooler winter cycle, leading to less than desirable Spring leaves. Maybe @Tillerman can give his informed opinion.
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